“islamic art”

London: the Islamic art market

The Islamic art market has been boosted in London by exceptional sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. But given the state of the current situation in the Islamic world, auction houses now need to obtain extra — and compulsory information — before placing a piece on sale. An auction house now has to have proof that the work left its country of origin legally; the new rule has been introduced in an attempt to fight illegal sales of pillaged works. Even if the world’s auction houses have reason to fear censorship, the Islamic art market is continuing to grow internationally, especially in London where a circle of keen collectors throngs. On 20 October 2016, Christie’s sold a page from the famous Indian manuscript, Hamzanama (1564). Estimated at between £200,000 and 300,000, the page finally went at £821,000. The illustration on the page shows Amir Hamza — uncle of the prophet Muhammad — clinging to the claws of a phoenix. The sale of the manuscript page was the high point of the Islamic Art Week from 14 to 25...

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First sale for AlBahie

The first Qatari auction house — AlBahie — specialised in Islamic and oriental art, has just made its first sale one month after its opening. The sale, estimated at reaping $1 million, offered pieces with an estimated value of up to $180,000. The Al-Thani royal family, founders of the business, has entrusted the house’s management to Canadian art historian Corinne Lefebvre, assisted by Alexandra Bots, brought over from Christie’s Amsterdam. Sheikh Abdurrahman bin Hamad Al-Thani has declared: “The goal behind opening this auction house was to contribute to the revival of Islamic cultural and support authentic Arab and Islamic...

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Archaeology and Islamic Art sale at Christie’s Paris

On 6 May 2015, Christie’s Paris is to hold a sale of two collections of archeology and Islamic art. The first, a collection belonging to Léon Rodrigues-Ely (1924-1973), includes objects from Antiquity, and the second, a collection belonging to Joseph Soustiel (1904-1990), focuses on objects from the 19th century. Amongst the lots offered, is found a large Iznik Ottoman ceramic bottle dating from 1580-85, estimated to sell for between €30,000 – €50,000, and a flat Iznik Saban decorated with tulips dating from 1535-45, estimated to sell for between €40,000 – €60,000. The sale will also include a marble Roman goddess dating from the 1st – 2nd century, estimated to sell for between €30,000 – €45,000. The sale is to offer at least 140 lots, reaching a total estimate of €500,000 – €700,000. Lionel Gosset, director of the Collections department, said: “Christie’s are delighted to be able to offer enthusiasts and collectors the opportunity to discover the work of two passionate collectors […] Whether they come from Italy, Iran, Cyprus, or Turkey, these pieces bear witness to cultures that were important to the two...

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Sotheby’s Paris announces Orientalist Pictures & Sculpture and Islamic Art Sale

On 23 October 2014, Sotheby’s Paris is to hold a sale of 19th– and 20th-century art pertaining to the Orient, along with a selection of Islamic art. The sale comprises 123 lots with works by Jacques Majorelle, Adolf Schreyer, Herman-David-Salomon Corrodi and Etienne Dinet. Featured are some 15 nudes painted in academic style, with reclining odalisques showing a balance between a realistic representation of the flesh and the erotic idealisation of the female form. The sale is also to include works depicting everyday scenes, such as a market scene in Biskra, Algeria, by Herman-David-Salomon Corrodi (pre-sale estimate: €35,000 to 50,000). In addition to these paintings are some European sculptures, including Charles Cordier’s Femme Fellah Voilée (pre-sale estimate: €15,000 to20,000) and an enigmatic Oriental Smoker by Gaston Veunevot Leroux (pre-sale estimate: €10,000 to 15,000). The Islamic art section of the sale features works from private French collections, such as silver from 19th-century Ottoman Turkey and a 14th-century Timurid tile from Central...

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Aga Khan Museum opens in Toronto

The first Islamic art museum in North America, the Aga Khan museum in Toronto, opened to the public on 18 September 2014. The museum was entirely financed by Prince Karim Aga Khan at a cost of over $274 million, with the aim of allowing more people to understand Islam and promote diversity. It holds over 1,000 pieces which mostly originate from Khan’s family collection, including rare manuscripts of the Quran. The objects on display, such as a piece of carved marble from 10th-century Spain, aim to show the accomplishments of muslim civilisations from the Iberian Peninsula to China. The building itself is over 10,000 square metres and is designed by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, a previous winner of the Pritzer Architecture Prize. The Aga Khan Development Network, who created the building, have also created the adjacent Ismaili centre, dedicated to the denomination of Islam of which Aga Khan is the spiritual...

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